Football: Falcons break scoreless tie with 21 fourth quarter points

Cerritos football opens season with 21-7 win
Cerritos football opens season with 21-7 win

Locked in a scoreless battle with host East Los Angeles College in their season opener, the Cerritos College football team found the end zone three times in the fourth quarter to come away with a 21-7 win. The Falcons (1-0) will host Moorpark College at 6:00 p.m next Saturday in their home opener.

The Huskies (0-1) were in scoring position in the fourth quarter, but missed a 45-yard field goal. Taking advantage of their missed opportunity, freshman quarterback TJ McMahon (Servite HS) connected on a 48-yard bomb to sophomore Jovohn Tucker (St. John Bosco HS), who made a diving catch at the East LA 25-yard line. On the next play, McMahon connected with sophomore C.J. Parks (Mater Dei HS), who made a diving catch of his own, putting the ball at the four-yard line. Cerritos finally broke the scoreless game with McMahon hitting Tucker with a four-yard pass to cap off the drive.

Not wasting any time of their own. East Los Angeles came right back and scored on their third play on the ensuing drive when Justin Watkins caught a Rudy Garcia pass at the Cerritos 40-yard line and he raced into the end zone for a 70-yard scoring play.

Coming right back were the Falcons with an 8-play 92-yard drive to regain the lead. McMahon to Parks worked twice for 43 combined yards, with freshman running back Hinckley Ropati (Downey HS) ripping off a 38-yard run to the East LA 19-yard line and followed that with 14 more yards on the ground. Sophomore Carl Odom (West Jordan, UT HS) finished off the drive with a 1-yard run with 6:04 left on the clock.

The Huskies were able to move the ball back into Falcon territory, as they got to the 32-yard line. But Garcia was picked off by sophomore defensive back Noah Peterson (Villa Park HS) at the Cerritos 25-yard line and he returned in 55 yards to the East LA 20 yard line. It took McMahon just one play to find Tucker in the back of the end zone from 20 yards out for an insurance touchdown.

The Cerritos defense did a number on the Huskies, limiting them to just 66 rushing yards and only 3-of-12 on third down. As a team, the Falcons had six quarterback sacks, with freshman Logan Applewhite (Cathedral HS) posting two, along with 3 1/2 tackles for loss, while freshman linebacker MichaelAllen Reddy (Los Alamitos HS) led the team with seven stops. In addition to the Peterson interception, freshman Omari Okeke and (Bellflower HS) sophomore Keeville Brown (Mountain Pointe, AZ HS/Phoenix (AZ) CC) both picked off passes, with the latter ending the final drive for East LA.

McMahon, who started the game slowly, finished 14-for-23 for 209 yards and two touchdowns, with both going to Tucker, who pulled in six passes for 98 yards on the night. Hinckley led the ground game with 80 yards on seven carries.